Warehouse commissioning lighting system

By commissioning the lighting system, this company saved electricity and improved the safety of its high-bay lighting fixtures in this warehouse.

By Michael Chow, PE, CxA, LEED AP BD+C, Metro CD Engineering LLC, Powell, Ohio December 11, 2014

Figure 3: The Whirlpool Rickenbacker Distribution Center’s 1,000+ lighting fixtures were commissioned to ensure safety and efficiency throughout the warehouse building. Courtesy: Metro CD Engineering LLCThe Whirlpool Rickenbacker Distribution Center is a 1.6-million-sq-ft facility located in Columbus, Ohio. The project achieved LEED v2.2 Certification. The building has more than 1,000 lighting fixtures in the warehouse section alone.

The owner’s project requirements (OPR) stated that the warehouse use high-bay lighting fixtures with integral motion sensors installed to provide an average maintained level of 20 foot-candles at 2.5 ft above the finished floor and 40 foot-candles in the staging bays.

The OPR also stated that storage lighting will have a 2-minute delay on the motion sensors and 20-minute delay on the staging bays.

The commissioning authority was Michael Chow, PE, CxA, LEED AP BD+C, with Metro CD Engineering. The commissioning team verified that the motion sensors were adjusted and functioned in accordance with the OPR and the manufacturer’s installation instructions. A 20% sampling of the motion sensors was done for the functional testing.

Commissioning of the lighting control systems is a key factor in the facility’s success. Having the lights turn on when needed and turn off when not needed is critical to ensuring the distribution center operates safely and does not waste electricity.


Michael Chow is the founder and owner of Metro CD Engineering. He holds a BSEE from Ohio Northern University and is a member of the Consulting-Specifying Engineer editorial advisory board and a 2009 40 Under 40 winner.